Saturday, November 10, 2018

United Haiku and Tanka Society, Fleeting Words Tanka Competition, 2018

Seedpods - October 2018 (e-newsletter of the UHTS)

I offer my thanks to judges Carole MacRury and Michael McClintock for honouring me with the following awards:

We are pleased to recognize the following tanka for their contribution to a literature we have come to love and which continues to attract readers and poets in diverse cultures around the world. The glory of such a wide forum is that, while nurturing what is held in common among people everywhere, it also invites individual, personal, and intimate expression of human experience.

These poems grabbed and held our attention through many readings, including re-readings of the entire roster of entries. We extend warm congratulations to the poets who wrote them. As a group, they represent a healthy, sincere, and growing engagement with tanka in contemporary poetry.

We are grateful to Sonam Chhoki and Marianna Monaco for coordinating and managing all the details that went into this annual event. They cheerfully provided us with all we needed at each step of the process.

a smudge
of blackbirds swirling
into evening . . .
how fluid the shape
of this sorrow

2nd Place

Judges' comments:

This well-constructed tanka uses sibilance to enhance the fluidity of the reading as well as the fluidity of the emotions shown through the image in the first three lines. This fine poem by Debbie Strange shows the power of understatement and the power of imagery to express deep emotions. It has that magic space where readers may enter with their own experiences. Deep sorrow, as most of us know, comes unexpectedly in dark, wave-like moments just like the "smudge of blackbirds swirling into evening". Every single word earns its place in this poem.

snow whirls
outside the henhouse . . .
father cups
my hands around
a warm brown egg

3rd Place

Judges' comments:

A sensory poem that takes us from whirling snow, straight into the warmth of a henhouse, the warmth of a father/child relationship, and the warmth of a freshly gathered brown egg. Debbie Strange's use of "cups" gives a wonderful tactile sense and understanding to this moment's magical combination of both fragility and solidness—of the brown egg, and of the love palpably felt between father and child. All is fused in one powerful image. That is quite a feat. The winter metaphor in the first line could also allude to the day when the child will draw sustenance from this warm memory long after the father is gone.

I carry
an ocean within
my pocket . . .
this blue lace agate
etched with ancient tides

Honourable Mention

Judges' comments:

...Finally, Debbie Strange writes a tanka that holds time itself in a pocket, a vast cycle of geological processes and change, as shown through a blue agate etched by the tides.

(note: there were 270 entries from 18 countries)

Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, Haiku Invitational, 2018

first light
the unfolding songs
of sakura

Honourable Mention
Sakura Award, Canada

TS Poetry, Every Day Poems, October 2018

a black purse of sky
unclasped and spilling silver
I hold out my hands

(this small poem previously appeared in the now defunct publication, VerseWrights - TS Poetry maintains an archive of poems published in the journal)

Tinywords, Issue 18.2, November 2018

Poem without art previously appeared in Creatrix 39, November 2017

The Cherita, August 2018

Issue: "pieces of sky"

if you are willing

we could begin
our story at its end

taking comfort
in knowing that this
is a love for the ages

we were deer

wearing antlers of twigs
and feathers

moving through
wheat fields in the skins
of our innocence

Stardust Haiku, Issue 22, October 2018

fields of lupine
where does the sky

Seashores - An International Journal to Share the Spirit of Haiku, Vol. 1, October 2018

jack pines
the arthritic shape
of wind

crescent moon
the hand-carved ribs
of our canoe

Prune Juice, Issue 26, November 2018

Mariposa, Number 39, Autumn/Winter 2018

dusk-to-dawn the low anthems of great grey owls

fallow fields a light dusting of snow geese

through a winter garden
of frost flowers . . .
there is a certain grace
in learning how to fall

Honoured to have "Snowy Owl" appear in this issue!

Folded Word, September 2018

Equinox Series Selection - sunrise

each autumn
this dead willow tree
sways with life,
pale limbs iridescent
with throngs of grackles

#FemkuMag: An E-zine of Women's Haiku - Issue 5, October 2018

windfall we harvest the apples of our discord


NeverEnding Story, October 2018

Translated into Chinese by Chen-ou Liu:

rusted bucket
cherry blossoms patch
every hole

2nd Place, The Bulgarian Haiku Union, Second International Haiku Contest, 2016

Chen-ou Liu's comments:

The visual contrast between a rusted bucket with holes and cherry blossoms sharpens the thematic focus of fleeting beauty.

A fresh and interesting haiku about cherry blossoms!

Halibut, October 2018

Haiku Canada Review, Vol. 12, Number 2, October 2018


Honoured to be the featured artist for this issue!

Frogpond, Vol. 41.3, Fall 2018

moonlit tent
the faint white noise
of a waterfall

Honoured to have "Frog Whimsy" appear in this issue!

Failed Haiku - A Journal of English Senryu, Vol. 3, Issue 35, November 2018

Daily Haiku, Charlotte Digregorio's Writer's Blog, October 2018

how your wings
carry me

Cattails, January 2014
also published in the haiku collection, A Year Unfolding, (Folded Word 2017)

Cirrus: tankas de nos jours, Number 10, October 2018

selected triptychs from Three-Part Harmony: Tanka Threads translated into French by Mike Montreuil

all winter

f i n a l l y
the river trail freezes
our ski tracks
the only graffiti
in this whitewashed city

the sound of tires
squeaking on new snow
a winter bird
rises from her rest
fluffing up her feathers

the neighbours
hibernate all winter
e m e r g i n g
into their backyards
like white-throated sparrows


the soughing
of willows in night wind
how gentle
the songs of daughters
tending to their mother

the sweater
mother knit for me
a rainbow
fading at the edges,
her evanescent life

the growth rings
of otoliths and trees
when did she
become smaller
than her daughters


a junkyard
of abandoned cars
once, well-loved
these skins shedding flakes
of other people's lives

rusted train tracks
over abandoned prairie
beckon us into the light
until we become blind

stacked in one room
of the abandoned house
unmatched chairs
we invent a new ending
to our own story

Wild, British Haiku Society Members' Anthology 2018

smoky sunset
the lake's shape defined
by geese

Asahi Haikuist Network, October 2018

wildfires . . .
the morning sun
a red beacon

Acorn, Number 41, Fall 2018

season's end a loon stirs sunset into the lake